Recorded Interviews with Postmodern and Contemporary American Writers from the Larry McCaffery Papers

Material Description

We seek to digitize the literary interviews conducted by Larry McCaffery, SDSU professor emeritus and literary critic, with notable postmodern and contemporary American writers. McCaffery's unique interview process started with a recorded interview on tape that was transcribed then heavily edited by both McCaffery and the writer. These edits eventually resulted in the creation of a final, collaborative manuscript. The McCaffery Papers document every phase of this interview process, allowing the researcher to track the evolution of each interview. In total there are 71 interviewees, including Kathy Acker, Mark Danielewski, William Vollmann, Samuel Delany, Raymond Carver, Joanna Russ, Ursula LeGuin, Raymond Federman, William Gibson, Haruki Murakami, Don DeLillo, Rikki Ducornet, David Foster Wallace, and Tim O'Brien, as well as several tapes of guest lectures from these authors to McCaffery's English classes. These interviews as well as their edits provide insight into individual writing processes, personal interests and influences, and into cultural changes and societal concerns contemporary to the writer's time. This project will make these recorded interviews freely available to the public for the first time, allowing for original scholarship in the fields of postmodern literature, cyberpunk, science fiction, avant-pop, avant-porn, steam punk, and contemporary American fiction.


San Diego State University proposes to digitize 180 interviews on audio cassette tapes with well-known postmodern and contemporary American writers by Larry McCaffery, professor emeritus of English at San Diego State University and postmodern literary critic. Interviewees include innovative writers like Raymond Federman, Mark Danielewski, David Foster Wallace, Samuel Delany, Joanna Russ, Ursula LeGuin, and more. These tapes provide insight into writing processes and influences as well as McCaffery's unique interview process. The Larry McCaffery Papers are currently being processed with the tapes arranged within their own series. This project will allow for the digitization and transcription of these interviews, which will be made freely available to the public via SDSU's digital platform (, the collection finding aid, and an online exhibit. This resource will enhance research in postmodern literature, the literary interview, cyberpunk, contemporary American literature, science fiction, and American cultural studies.


Digitizing Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded


Year Added



San Diego State University, Library and Information Access


  • Ms. Amanda Lanthorne (San Diego State University)
  • Ms. Melissa Lamont

Date Range

1977 - 2000

Geographic Scope

The majority of interviews were conducted across the United States, with the exception of a few interviews conducted in Japan with postmodern Japanese writers.


  • 180 Audio Recordings